Boost as Ellesmere picked to host triathlon world qualifier

Ellesmere will get an economic boost in September when a world qualifying sporting event returns to Shropshire.

The 2020 Shropshire Triathlon
The 2020 Shropshire Triathlon

Elite athletes from across the UK will be competing at the Shropshire Triathlon, based in and around the Mere.

Organisers, who have extended the event to two days, say the extra competitors will mean extra bookings at hotels, B&Bs and campsites and a busy weekend for shops, cafes and pubs in the town.

Shropshire Council, deeply involved in the early years of the triathlon, which has been running for three decades, has welcomed the return of the world qualifier.

The event is now organised by UK Triathlon, which stepped in when the council could no longer continue its involvement.

Katie Edge from Ellesmere

Event Director, Keith Hancock, said that the Sunday event, on September 4, would remain as the allcomers triathlon, with three distances, for all abilities and with the chance to enter as a relay team.

He said: "We have now added the Saturday as the world qualifier for the elite athletes. Shropshire Triathlon will be one of only two world qualifiers in the UK this year and so we are expecting a big entry with competitors from across the country hoping to get to the World races in Spain in 2023.

"It is brilliant that we can bring the qualifier back to a race which has such a great pedigree. Both ourselves and British Triathlon were keen to ensure that the qualifier didn't spoil the wonderful family atmosphere that the Shropshire Triathlon has, hence the extra day."

"Wherever we stage our events we see a huge increase in the number of hotel beds and campsite pitches booked and restaurants and cafes full. To have this extra day is an extra boost to the local economy."

Oswestry Olympian Mike Kirk

Mr Hancock said the event could not take place without the amazing volunteering by the marshalls and the help of the local police and various departments of Shropshire Council.

Peter Davis, Leisure Services Manager at Shropshire Council said: "It was exciting to hear that the Shropshire Triathlon has once again been granted world championship qualifier status. Since UK Triathlon have taken over responsibility for the event it has gone from strength to strength and this really does put Shropshire back on the triathlon map. The extension of the event to a full weekend will certainly benefit the town of Ellesmere, showcasing the incredible location and providing a range of opportunities for novice triathletes to elite performers.’

Shaun Burkey, Countryside and Heritage Sites manager for the council said: "The Mere at Ellesmere, a much loved country park, has been vital to people's health and well being throughout the pandemic. As we emerge from Covid it is with great optimism that we welcome back a full programme of events and activities with the UK Triathlon being one of the highlights of the calendar year. We are honoured to host one of this year’s World qualifier events over the weekend in September and welcome athletes to The Mere and to Ellesmere."

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